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Riverhead, NY 11901
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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
August 12, 2014
Hello once again race fans, before we review last week I'd like to take a moment to look forward to this Saturday and our Old Timers Night and Wall of Fame Inductions. Paul McElearney #98/60x, "Dynamite" Dan Turbush #8 and Peggy Smith #21 will all be enshrined onto our Wall of Fame in turn three. Hopefully you can join us if you were a fan of one of or all three of these great racers. Old Timers Night will feature some great vintage cars including the #1 Chevette of Charlie Jarzombek, #7-11 Coupe of the Ambrose family, #34 Modified of Don Howe and the late Carl Zeh, #X-90 replica Pinto of Fred Harbach courtesy of Ed Mayfield, #21 of Peggy Smith and hopefully the # 23 of Ira Bromley now owned by Norman Pepper. It will be a great trip down memory lane one you donít want to miss!
This week we will start off with the Legend Race Cars as well we should after some 39 teams showed up for the INEX National Qualifier which was won by defending champion Brendon Bock in his Long Island Performance entry. Bock did a masterful job early in the race to move from 4th to the race lead on lap 9 and once out front had to fend off another former champion in the class Kyle Ellwood #43 for the $500 payday. I had a chance to catch up with Brendon's Dad after the races and he outlined what the game plan might be for his son's future at and away from the track. Later this year the team hopes to field their Super Late Model at an event at the famed Winchester Speedway in the Midwest. As for next year George Bock hinted that a NASCAR Modified for a handful of races at Riverhead Raceway in 2015 might be in the works among other options. Off track Brendon will be applying to some elite colleges to attend and as you can see the game plan is a smart one for the soft spoken talent.
Legend points find Kyle Soper #4 leading Brad Van Houten #09 by 16 markers, 580 to 564. Soper was 3rd Saturday in the Jack Anthony Polls machine while Van Houten placed 5th in the Riverhead Building Supply racer. Brad made a hasty exit from the track Saturday to drop his race car trailer off and then hook up to his camper as he and his family were heading to Ocean City for vacation!
Tom Rogers Jr. #9 is on a roll in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Chevy as he swept the Sunoco Race Fuels Twin 50's for the NASCAR Modifieds. In fact Tom actually made it look at times easy on his way to his fourth win in the last five races. While Van Houten was heading for vacation, Rogers actually cut his short to race Saturday night and was happy he did as he trimmed Howie Brode's point lead down to 21, 313 to 292. Brode was 4th in both 50-lappers in his Fellingham's Restaurant #96. What once was a comfortable lead for the defending NASCAR Modified champion is now slowly shrinking and could it be the championship tussle will come down to the last race September 20th?
Roger Maynor started the 15-lap Figure Eight main event out in the lucky seventh starting spot and was in the right place at the right time to score his second win of 2014. Roger was actually running third when Gary Fritz Jr. #9 was spun by Mike Mujsce #13 with Mike asked to join Gary at the rear of the field which moved Roger and his Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford into the race lead. Suffice to say the rugged veteran took full advantage of the circumstances and drove off to his amazing 112 career win.
With a handful of races remaining Roger enjoys a 14 point bulge on Tom Rogers Jr. #43, 420 to 406. Tom off his NASCAR Modified wins was runner-up in the Ralph's Famous Italian Ices of Riverhead Plymouth Coupe.
Another Bay Shore resident "Radiant" Ray Minieri #43 scored his second Charger win in the last three races in their 20-lap feature event. Ray also like his neighbor Maynor started 7th and passed his old race car now driven by Greg Immerman #17 on lap 14 to secure his 21st career win. It was the third trip for Ray and his Sunrise Chiropractic & Wellness Center team to victory lane this season.
Defending champion Eric Zeh #34 and Chris Turbush #81 are deadlocked for the championship lead at 514 with Eric 3rd in the Finishline Demolition & Masonry Chevy with Chris 4th in his Eastern Fuel Oil #81. By the way Chris hinted during practice that he might be driving the #14 Figure Eight car for the next two races before Tom Ferrara returns to the seat for the last race September 20th. I for one am looking forward to that!
Richie Hubbard's victory in the 20-lap Blunderbust main event had so many story lines attached to it one doesn't know where to start but we will try. Actually the win couldn't have come at a better time for Richie and his Defend Tattoo team with the passing of his sister earlier in the week it was a great boost for Hubbard and his close family. The win was Richie's first since June 9th of 2001 and comes in a car that was built some 21 years ago by Scott Gottimer for none other than our current track manager John Ellwood! The car is still owned by former driver Anthony Aiello who now calls Florida home and has for quite some time. As I said many fun facts with this win folks.
Both championship contenders Jack Handley Jr. and Tom Pickerell had less than spectacular nights in the 20-lap Blunderbust feature. Handley was caught up in a mid race skirmish and was forced to the pits and would roar back to a 9th place finish in the Liccardi Builders #49. Pickerell was not so fortunate as he fell from the race in a cloud of smoke dropping him to 18th in the final rundown. "Slick Pick" thinks something went inside the motor but quickly noted he has another engine and will be ready for the 30-lap, time trial race this week. The end result of all of this finds Jack with commanding 44 point lead over Tom 502 to 458.
"The Real Deal" Mark Stewart #8 notched his third win of the Super Pro Truck season in his Lenny's Pizza Chevy #8. Mark rode the outside lane around early race leader Frank Dumicich Sr. to drive off to his career victory. Mark will be among many Saturday joining his Grandfather Dan Turbush track side for his Wall of Fame Induction.
Much like the Chargers the championship battle in the Super Pro Trucks is an intense one with Erin Dumicich #95 leading Lou Maestri #1 by just two points, 444 to 442. Erin worked her way from 7th to 3rd in her Sea Level Construction Chevy while Louie raced his way from 9th to 4th in the Star Car Collision Center machine.
Jimmy "The Kid" White in a Donald Fox tribute car easily won the 8-Cylinder Demolition Derby.
John Ellwood confirmed that the entire Demolition Derby program will be revamped for the 2015 season with "cut & gut" or if your prefer "bone stock" cars being permitted.
No doubt the drive of the night belonged to Johnny Cricchio in his 5 Brothers Deli #66 Blunderbust. After missing a month due to illness "Drama" returned with a vengeance finishing 4th after starting 20th in the field!
Nice to have the 860 Motorsports Legend Race Car team on hand Saturday. Devin O'Connell up from Charlotte would enjoy the best result with a 7th place showing while Matt Maring of New Jersey was 13th and fellow Garden State driver Joe Graff had a tougher time of it in 22nd. Mike Alcaro who has won all over the Northeast over the past few seasons was the last car to make the race on time but scratched for the feature and we still don't know why.
Nice to have former three time champion John Fortin back in the pit area with his sharp looking SGS Stone Works Chevy. Fresh off a trip to Las Vegas John was third in both 50-lap races.
Good night for Scott Pedersen and his car owner Benny Vecchio in both their Charger and Figure Eight cars. Scott was 5th in the Chargers before posting a 3rd in his Reliable Motors Figure Eight entry.
Great result for Charger rookie Greg Immerman #17 as after leading for quite some time in the 20-lap feature he was runner-up in the Hometown Taxi Pontiac.
This Joe Warren is getting it in Blunderbust competition as the first year driver was runner-up in his TS Haulers Chevy this after starting the race 10th.
Gary Fritz Jr. had a nice recovery after being spun from the Figure Eight lead as he raced his way back to 5th in the Northeastern Office Equipment '57 Chevy.
We heard some conversation that Scott Lehmann might be making a return to Figure Eight competition next time the class races, canít tell you which car yet but it did run Saturday.
Tom Sherman got the chance to race in the Legends one more time before his impending move to North Carolina. Jim Sylvester turned his Johnny Mica Custom Kitchens #2NY over to Tom who was 12th in the 30-lap event. Sylvester in his newer #2NY made the race via the consi and was 15th.
Thank you to Wild Child Designs for the plaques for the top three Legend finishers as well for the consi winner Kevin Chew #82. Their Best Appearing Car plaque went to Greg Harris #0
Jimmy Rennick Jr. and the folks from Sonny's Collision center posted $100 for fast time which was captured by Richie Davidowitz in his Thriftway Auto Body #25. Brake issues hampered Richie's race but he was till 4th at the finish.
Last but not least a huge thank you to all the lap money and bonus money sponsors for the INEX Legend event as we mentioned above the race winner took home a cool $500, $100 of which was from Nowak Motorsports!
Terry Stiles #41 toughing it out in the Blunderbusts with 26 stitches above his right eye from a work accident. The "Stiles Files" pitted after losing a front bumper and still came home 7th in the O'Brien & O'Brien Attorneys At Law Chevy.
All of us at Riverhead Raceway want to congratulate pace car sponsor Buzz Chew and his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Woody Pitkat on their first career win on the tour in the Call Before You Dig 811 event last Friday at the Stafford Motor Speedway.
Mike Mujsce #13 drove his tail off to come back for a 4th place Figure Eight finish in his Bill Beener Tree Service racer.
Steve Boland #31 made his Legend Race Car debut last week we understand Steve has done some Midget racing previous.
Joe Oliver has switched his Legend number from 38 to 08 for the rest of 2014.
Until next time - BF
2014 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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